The expanding network of giant windmills in the North Sea – the largest such collection in the world – is turning into a windfall for some bankers helping institutional investors acquire a piece of Europe’s renewable-energy market. A record $9.36 billion of stakes in offshore wind farms were sold last year, up 77 percent from 2016, and refinancing of project debt doubled to $6.27 billion. The 23 acquisition deals, almost all in Europe, were the most ever for the industry, and the average transaction price rose 69 percent to $407 million, an all-time high. Investors are stepping up investment in offshore wind farms that are producing eight times more power than in 2008. After years of public subsidies, turbines are grabbing a bigger share of Europe’s electricity supply, replacing some coal-fired plants on land. “Offshore wind makes up a significant and growing percent of the work we’re doing in infrastructure,” said Lisa McDermott, an executive director of project finance at ABN AMRO Bank NV in Amsterdam. “It’s getting very competitive for banks to get involved.” – Bloomberg

Other contents